Make Believe Melodies Logo

Mukai Shutoku (Zazen Boys) Shows Off New Project, Kimonos


Zazen Boys 4, the titular band’s last album, saw the spazzy group slowing down ever-so-slightly and introducing more electronics into their sound. Seems like lead Boy Mukai Shutoku wanted to explore this softer side more, because he’s now involved in a band called Kimonos who just posted their debut song “Almost Human.” And it sounds very little like Zazen Boys. Shutoku takes to the background on this song, letting someone else tackle the vocals here. Don’t expect any machine-gun-fast Japanese or bizarre shouts of “idiot!,” but instead smooth English (!) vocals. The music similarly marks a departure for Shutoku – fluttery electronics float around in the back while some simple bass and percussion nudge the song forward. It’s the closest any act associated with Shutoku have come to jazz…even, dare I say, smooth jazz…and also the most enveloping…whereas Number Girl and Zazen Boys mostly ran headfirst forward at the listener, Kimonos seems content to just surround them. It’s an interesting change of pace, and a great opening shot from an, errrr, outfit we will definitely keep an eye on.